August Classic Film Quickie Reviews

I watch many more films than I have time or interest to review. So, I am trying  something a little different this month. I thought I would share the list of (new to me) classic films I watched during the month and my brief impressions of each. Let me know what you think.

George Brent & Kay Francis in Stranded

Without Honor (1949) -An unexpectedly intriguing drama about an adulterous wife who accidentally stabs her lover. Meanwhile, her vindictive brother-in-law tries to ruin her marriage. Laraine Day is an underrated actress in my opinion. Here she stars and gives an excellent performance.

Tip on a Dead Jockey (1957) -I’m working my way through Robert Taylor’s films. He is a former combat pilot who has lost his nerve and is hiding out from his life and wife in Spain. Dorothy Malone is gorgeous as his wife, but otherwise the movie is rather forgettable.

A Walk in the Sun (1945) -This is such an interesting look at a day in the life of a platoon of soldiers in Italy during WWII. The scenes swing from war drama to the mundane conversations they have while waiting and marching in between all the action. I always enjoy Dana Andrews but Richard Conte steals this film as the brash, chatty machine gunner from New Jersey.

While the City Sleeps (1956) -I’ve heard good things about this crime mystery starring Ida Lupino, George Sanders, Dana Andrews and Vincent Price. While it is good, I did think it is a bit over hyped.

Bhowani Junction (1956) -Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger star in this film about the last days of British occupation in India. I didn’t love it because everything looked so hot, dirty and miserable. But Gardner gives a great performance as a bi-racial woman struggling to find her identity.

Personal Maid’s Secret (1935) -This quick little 60 minute comedy about a maid who improves the social position of her new employers was fun. This is the second film I saw co-starring Margaret Lindsay and Anita Louise.

Green Light (1937) -I really wanted to like this movie about a noble, sacrificing doctor. But every character is so good, and perfect and the tone is self-righteous and overly moralizing. Still the performances of Errol Flynn, Margaret Lindsay, Anita Louise and Cedric Hardwicke are interesting.

High and Dizzy (1920) & Never Weaken (1921) -I love silent film comedians and Harold Lloyd is so good! These two comedy shorts had me and my mom laughing hysterically.

Darby’s Rangers (1958) -I’m working my way through James Garner’s early filmography which is why I chose this one. Based on the exploits of the Army Rangers in WWII, there are some interesting moments. But it’s dragged down by too long of a run time and would have benefitted from some editing.

The Sea Wolf (1941) -I put off watching this film noir for a while, due to lack of interest. But I was surprised by how engrossed and invested I became in the fates of sailors under the command of a sadistic sea captain. Edward G Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield and Alexander Knox all give excellent performances in their roles.

Julie (1956) -Definitely not the best suspense film I’ve ever seen. Still Doris Day continues to impress me with her acting skills as a woman who’s husband is jealous enough to murder her.

The Double Man (1967) -Starring Yul Brynner, this spy drama was a bit slow and lacking tension until about the last half hour.

Stranded (1935) -This film about an engineer building the Golden Gate Bridge who falls in love with a social worker of sorts is missing something. Still it’s interesting to see shots of the bridge under construction. Not to mention, George Brent and Kay Francis make a great pair.

The Tarnished Angels (1957) -Based on a story by Tennessee Williams and his favorite of all his adaptations. I didn’t love it, but it is rather memorable. Dorothy Malone,  Robert Stack, Jack Carson and Rock Hudson all give good performances in this rather depressing tale about a doomed pilot, his estranged wife, mechanic and the newspaper man who befriends them. I will be writing more about this for the Rock Hudson Blogathon in November.

The Fighting 69th (1940) -A rather forgettable war drama starring a lot of big names like James Cagney, George Brent, Pat O’Brien.  I wanted to like this more than I did.

Duchess of Idaho (1950)  -I’ve been trying to give Esther Williams films a go lately, but I haven’t fallen in love with her yet. I don’t find Van Johnson all that impressive either. Still the costumes and vivid color of this movie give it appeal. I also liked the end with the men taking on housewife roles to win the woman back. So, there’s that.

Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) -I’ve heard about this film for years. It follows three single woman working and falling in love in Rome. Their stories were okay, but the cinematography is just gorgeous. Also, I have a weak spot for Maggie McNamara ever since I saw her in The Moon is Blue.

Have you seen any of these films? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions on them?

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